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Anatoly Karpov    003

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The origin of chess

There are many stories concerning the origin of chess, most of which are not true. Those myths include certain real facts, but most times they are bursting with the imagination of the people who created them.
One of those beautiful stories refers to a wise Vrahman called Sashi and his Maharajah in India. Shisha created a game and took it to his king. The Maharajah was marveled at it and told Shisha he could ask anything he wanted and that any reasonable reward would be granted.This game was like a fake war and was played on a base similar to today’s chessboard.
The surprise of Maharajah was big when Shisha did not ask him for gold, precious stones or something else of great value. Shisha merely requested one grain of wheat, which was and still is the basic food of the countries in Eastern Asia. All he wanted was to be paid by using the battlefield of his game.
He asked a grain to be placed in the first square, two grains in the second square, four grains in the third square, eight in the fourth and continued doubling the quantity, until all squares had been filled.
The Maharaja was very pleased as he thought he would acquire a beautiful game at an exceptionally cheap price. He then told Shisha to go to the deposits of the palace and be paid by the servants immediately. Shisha explained that this was not possible, because the overall number of grains needed for his wage was 18.446.744.073.709.551.615. So much rice could not be found not only in his kingdom but in all the kingdoms of India and of course it does not exist in the entire world even today! And even if it existed, all the wealth of king would not be enough to buy so much rice.
  Maharaja admired Shisha’s intelligence, since he used the idea of multiplication in such a good way and gave him a big property and gifts enough for him to live comfortably for the rest of his life.
   However, Shisha did not want to leave his Maharaja and remained with the promise to advise him whenever it was necessary. 
   This game invented by Shisha was the ancestor of chess. 
After a few modifications in the movement of pawns, which however took entire centuries to be made accepted, finally around 1500, the current chess resulted and easily acquired millions of players and of friends all over the world. Even if Shisha was a myth, the ideas of his story live and excite us till today.
The current form of chess was established during the Renaissance and became very popular due to typography. In the past, chess was exclusively a game for kings and nobles. "Blue-blooded ", people of letters and clergymen were the only ones who longed for complex reasoning in order to practice their spirit. Poor and ignorant people, that in those days used to be the majority, had neither the time nor the skills to deal with any complex intellectual game.
For this reason, the first powerful checkers were wise noble men and clergymen. The most distinguished one was the Spanish bishop Roui Lopez De Segoura, who drew up a strategy for the beginning of a game that is used until today with success in important competitions - and even the international championship! In some countries, this strategy is called “Roui Lopez opening” while in others (including Greece) "Spanish Game".

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